FORT COLLINS, COLORADO -- To start, Bellawood products are a total joke. As is the "100-year warranty". In August 2014 I bought a home here in Fort Collins knowing I would be doing some remodeling over the next few months. Before closing on the house, I knew I wanted to put hardwood floors in and Lumber Liquidators (LL) was just down the street from my work. So it made reasonable sense to purchase product as well as get installation instructions to accompany this endeavor from them. I was immediately duped into the Bellawood product because they claimed it's all Bob Vila will install and it has a superior 100 warranty. Sounds pretty good right?
Upon choosing 3/4 in Bellawood Brazilian Koa, I was also told I needed the very expensive Bella Premium Sound reducing underlayment. So after a whopping $5900.00 purchase, I left the store. 1 week later the product arrived on a pallet in my driveway. The delivery guys from LL were quick to tear the ends of the boxes off and discard the ends stating that this would allow air to circulate through the boxes and allow for better acclamation. Ok, I'll buy that. Immediately following this, my friends and I carried the boxes into the house and placed them in the rooms where they would be installed.
A lengthy 2 months passed while we painted, installed new carpet, and hung new doors in the bedrooms upstairs. Excited to be finally installing the hardwood, we carefully read through all of the installation steps, proper procedures and "things to check before you begin". Everything was checked and rechecked. So we began the install. We made sure that the required underlayment was put down the right way, seams were taped the right way and so on. The install went great. It looked great. We were happy to be finished and move in furniture...
Now I will explain the "Bella Crap" comment earlier and why these people need to just STOP making hardwood flooring. About 3 to 6 months after our installation, we started noticing small gaps growing between boards. This is that moment when the stress and aggravation began. We started asking questions to LL like "why is this happening?" and "what can we do about it?". The response was always "floor gapping is a natural part of owning a hardwood floor". We were told that due to changes in humidity, the floor would expand and contract accordingly.
Well here we are, 3 years later with gaps ranging from 3/16" to 1/4". Talk about a train wreck. We were smart consumers though and had been monitoring the home's humidity level since way before the floor was even installed. There had not been any drastic changes in humidity. In fact, the home had a whole home humidifier that constantly kept the readings within 5 to 10 percent.
In May of 2017 we'd had ENOUGH of the uncomfortable and unsightly floor and decided it was time to consider a warranty claim for this issue. After all, we'd done everything required to be successful in this installation down to the very "T". So we contacted LL warranty dept. to start a claim. We filled out the supplied disclosure, and provided numerous pictures.
A month later we had not gotten any response. So we called to find out the status and it turned out the lady in charge of our claim quit and dumped our file. So we started again with another representative. More disclosures, more pics etc... Lo and behold, another month passes with no response. Guess what? We called in and yep, you guessed it, the replacement representative we were dealing with quit as well and dumped our claim! ARE YOU KIDDING ME???
So once again we were assigned a new claim manager and went through the same claims process all over again. The photos we had submitted were of such disgust that LL sent out a "3rd party" inspector to look at our flooring. When this guy showed up, he didn't even know what he was coming to our house for to inspect... very concerning. He started by pulling out some magnetic marbles, checking our nail locations... they were perfect. Next, he checked the home humidity level and yep, perfect (for Colorado). Then he pulled out his TrAmex floor moisture tester and began his inspection. He asked if we had used a foil-backed underlayment and we said yes.
The Bella Premium underlayment we bought per LL advice and warranty requirements was in fact foil-backed and seam-taped with their foil tape. He informed us that foil-backed felts always cause the TrAmex reader to read very high for some reason. His readings were around 24%... I asked him if he wanted to see any other parts of the house or materials used and he said no. He was going to go home and research Bellawood's warranty and see if we have a legitimate claim.
Well, just as you'd guess, he stated in his report to LL that the excessive floor gapping was not the result of a bad product, nor a bad installation, but rather a very high moisture content in the floor. WHAT? He had just told us that his reader reads way too high over foil-backed underlayment. So here we are, still walking on a horribly uncomfortable floor (with my expecting fiancé's swollen feet in constant pain), trying to get Bellawood to cover their crappy product. BEWARE guys, Bellawood is an LL product. When you contact the "office of the CEO" for Bellawood, you get a response email from LL. Again, what a joke!
All they care about is wasting your time, selling crap product at a premium, and telling you that there is no legitimate warranty claim. So much for a "100-year warranty" huh? PLEASE DO YOURSELVES A FAVOR AND STEER CLEAR OF LUMBER LIQUIDATORS AND BELLAWOOD. You'll just end up in a boat like mine, disappointed, disgusted, exhausted and much lighter in the wallet. Go see a real, local hardwood floor company with a real warranty, and enjoy the comfort knowing you didn't give your money to thieves... just my 3 cents.
CHEYENNE, COLORADO -- Same as the Ft Collins reviewer. Sold me about 1600 sq ft of 5/16 Brazilian walnut. It's gapping and tongues are breaking. They stopped selling this product due to design defect. I'm sure as the thinness undermines its stability. Told me gaps were due to dryness even though the product sat in my house for months before install. Ripoff totally!
WEST CHESTER, OHIO -- In the lumber milling industry there is a condition known as seconds which basically means the wood product produced does not meet quality standards (has knots, splits, bad cosmetic flaws, etc.). Any reputable company would not sell these products at any cost. but Lumber Liquidators sells these materials stating that they are usable but ask that you increase the waste value from industry standard of 5% to as much as 30%! I am sure that some corporate yuppie with their name printed on a paycheck from Lumber Liquidators finds this to be rather amusing.
But the customer that purchases these products and is stuck with a bunch of unusable product that they had to pay real money for is not amused at all. The store managers I have dealt with have absolutely no product knowledge. They will tell customers "sure save yourself some money and buy these odd lots" making the customer believe they got a deal. Without going into a long drawn out explanation of how and why, this is simply a very poor business practice. They are dishonest, rude, and have absolutely no concern for their customers welfare.
I have installed Lumber Liquidators products for around 12 years now. At first I was totally sold on them, then as the years went by their quality went further and further down hill. I have seen countless times the customer is left holding the bag, or they push claims off on the installer calling any issues an "installation issue" I honestly have to admit that I nor anyone else is perfect, and we do make mistakes.
But My installation company is based on truly professional values, and I would simply expect them to stand up and take responsibility for their shotty product instead of pushing it off on the people out there making a living offering customers a legitimate service that would have been a positive experience for all involved had liquidators not supplied bad product.
Why would I take the time to write a review like this? What do I have to gain from this? The truth is I sincerely hope that any future customers of Liquidators read this and the many many other complaints against them on the Internet and decide to shop somewhere else, and that liquidators is finally held liable for the many many "dirty deals" they have made and they are forced to close their doors. I am completely in support of any and all reputable businesses out there that stand behind what they offer, but time has come for something to be done about these pirates!!
Our country is in bad enough shape, we do not need crooks like this nibbling away at the fabric of respectable businesses and ruining the reputation of other hardworking people in this industry that do not deserve to be labeled "thieves" simply because they work in the same profession as this so called company. I have personally seen issues ranging from blackmail, illegal kickbacks, corporate cover-ups, lies after lies, discrimination, I could go on and on but I sure you see my point. How can they continue to get away with this? We as customers or even employees need to make a stand and demand they take responsibility for their actions.
We've addressed this concern already. We sell odd lot material in addition to products brand new in the box and top of the line like Bellawood. We clearly disclaim what you're buying so you can plan your project accordingly, but we also have people making positive comments receiving a product they could not have otherwise afforded, so it goes back to ones individual expectations and it's our goal to offer the public choices. The other issues you raise here come off as a disgruntled former installer / employee. Craftsmanship has many varying degrees and most installations go off without a hitch, but some of your comments would suggest you may need to review the quality of your work. Our folks are well educated on flooring, in fact I can watch incoming calls into our call center and see them coming from competitors asking LL questions about flooring related topics / advice, so your opinions are noted, but not supported with facts. The idea that our employees engage in unprofessional behavior is an allegation considered an irresponsible act If you have a concern, write our legal department and they will investigate, but this sounds like more rambling and I'm not sure this posting truly represents the professional values you claim to uphold with your company. I can answer your question about why you would write such a review. It would appear you have time because your not promoting your own business, which is a better use of your time. We all take great pride in what we do offering quality products, low prices, and excellent wood flooring knowledge to those who have a need. We wish you all the best in your business, but this is not a place to present your personal gripes and you could use your time wisely by searching on line marketing tools for your business. Our web site is known for having the best educational tools for flooring installation related topics and techniques. Good luck and thanks for listening.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- I recently referred a friend to Lumber Liquidators because I had purchased some bamboo from them years ago and had a good experience. My friend purchased thousands of square feet of the Bellawood 3/4" Maple flooring in advance of her remodel so that it was in home and had time to acclimatize before being installed. Her home is perfectly dry without any water intrusion whatsoever. The boxes were unopened and in perfect condition. She purchased the flooring well enough in advance to ensure the flooring was in pocket for installation.
Of course, more than 30 days passes before she has a very reputable San Francisco flooring company begin installing her new flooring. After installing only 70 square feet, it becomes glaringly visible that the flooring is warped, scratched and not milled to 5" widths thus leaving gaps between the planks. To add insult to injury the Lumber Liquidators personnel advised her that she needed an acoustical underlay for her nail down 3/4" floor. The professional installer informed her that this was not prudent advice and it wasn't needed.
As per most of your experience, Lumber Liquidators abhorrent customer service hit her on the head like a ton of garbage wood flooring. "You're outside of the 30-day refund/warranty period". "We'll get back to you". "Bring it back to the store for review". "We'll send you a warranty form to fill out and we might exchange the flooring". "Let's lay the flooring out on the sidewalk to look at because I cannot bring it inside the store". Her entire home renovation is now on hold with no bedroom, kitchen or living room for herself or her young child.
How do you think Lumber Liquidators will resolve this clear issue of defective merchandise? Do you think that Lumber Liquidators will do the right thing and refund her money and compensate her for the installers labor for the 70 square feet installed? Tune in for "the rest of the story" on how an ethical company does business.
LINCOLN, NEBRASKA -- If I could give the Lincoln, Nebraska store no stars, I would. My husband and I bought $4,500 of Bellawood solid hickory flooring at the end of November as part of a whole house remodel. We paid for a professional measurement, which turned out to be less than professional. We let them quote installation, but the price was so inflated we went a more reasonable way. As it turns out, after the floor is completely installed, we have 8 boxes too many!! The equivalent of $800.
When we tried to return only 6 today (saving extra to match), the store manager pointed out a return document in a pile of paperwork they made us sign at pick-up that limited returns to 30 days. WHAT?! To boot, there is a 20% restocking fee regardless. REALLY? We had to load the entire 43 boxes ourselves the first time with no employee help.
The manager was rude to me. He admitted that he could return the 6 boxes, but refused to. We have a complaint in at the corporate level. Hopefully they are more professional. BIG customer service mistake... beware... do not work with this store. This is the ultimate scam. Sell the customer waaaay more than they need, then refuse to return it. Wonderful.
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- Buyer beware about Bellawood and Schon. We bought some solid Bellawood and it need to ship in, some of the box still sticker Odd Lot and discounted price. How ignorant for those employee and can't even cover their dirty track. That label said 'Odd Lot' didn't even removed. Our installer have difficulty problem putting this floor together, because the size of the wood is different.
My friends also bought flooring from LL, they bought the Schon product. It only been down for 6 months, and their complaint this floor is easy to scratch and finish wear off quickly. They have Bruce oak flooring before they replace this the Schon Brazilian Cherry (supposed to be harder floor), but this new floor now look like 10 years old.
VIRGINIA -- We purchased Bellawood Brazilian Cherry flooring in January 2010. In 2011 the floor started hazing really bad. After cleaning the floor it didn't look like it had ever been touched because of the hazing. You can see every footprint where you walked. We notified the store where we purchased it, and they told us to deal directly with the corporate office in Virginia. We have done that and they have been fighting us for two years now. They are aware of the problem but all they want to do is send in a professional floor cleaner which will cost them only $100.
After it is cleaned, they say they are done with us even if the floor still has hazing. My wife has two types of cancer and it is a shame we have to fight them plus fight for her life. This situation will probably take her sooner because of all the stress they keep her under. They do not care about you after you purchase their product. the warranty means NOTHING!! If you people out there care about how you spend your money wisely, RUN, RUN, RUN!! I am hoping to reach every person out there that I possibly can to save them from all the agony they put you through. Please be wise and LISTEN!!
LL Response to Haze issue
The warranty covers the finish, however the cleaners being used have left the haze and the problem is improper floor care, not a warrantable event. We advise customers of proper floor care technique and cleaners, but when you stray outside the line and use something that can haze the finish this is a choice and we've provided advice as to how to correct the floor. We do not "fight" with customers, however the financial responsibility for correcting the floor is on the consumer when you use products that damage the finish. The best advice for buyers - Follow the care instructions and avoid products that haze the finish to keep the original lustre of the floor as its for this reason we're specific as to what should be used on a Bellawood floor. We never to tell a customer we're "done with them" so this is not how Customer Service works, but each situation is handled professionally and in some situations goodwill may be a consideration, and others it may not based on the evidence gathered to understand the root cause of the problem. Sorry this happened, but floor care is the responsibility of the buyer and this case highlights the need to follow floor care instructions to protect your investment.
FORT WORTH, TEXAS -- In 2008 we made an addition to our house. We had seen the ads for Lumber Liquidators on your network and chose the Bellawood Brazilian mesquite. The installer did a superb job and the floor looked beautiful until we began moving in. Every piece of furniture we placed on the floor scratched the surface and the scratches could not be polished out. Dents and scratches began showing up in places where there was no traffic. After two years the beautiful cherry wood red stain began turning honey gold everywhere the sun hit the floor. Now we have a two-tone floor.
When I contacted Lumber Liquidators they forwarded we to Bellawood. The Bellawood representative informed me that I had to send in pictures. Apparently they do not do on-site inspections. They denied any and all claims for warranty resolution. They said they were not responsible for fading or scratches. What good is a 100-year warranty if it does not cover anything?
I tell all my friends to stay away from Lumber Liquidators and Bellawood products. Since our problems I have researched other reviews and found that our experience is not exceptional rather it seems to be rather normal. In addition when the flooring was installed we had better than 15% waste. That added significantly to the cost.
RED HOOK, NEW YORK -- I have the Bellawood Hickory Engineered Flooring installed on the lower level of my split level house. I am an interior designer. I "experimented" on my own floors before recommending this to a client. It hasn't lasted even four months. As soon as the weather changed and it got snowy and wet the floor in the room where we come in from outside is peeling. I have boot trays and a carpet runner, so we are talking about a little puddle here and there. It has been less than two months since the first snowfall. The finish is strange. It is so thin and peels like it is shellac, not polyurethane. I have no idea what finish it is but the 100-year warranty is a scam.
When I called customer service they said "moisture" makes the warranty void. I asked them to specify "moisture." To them it is running across the floor after taking a shower to answer the phone, it is spilling your tea and not noticing, it is dropping an ice cube and not noticing. I plan to let the floor peel, sand it and put a real coating on it.
By the way, I bought the hickory for its hardness since I have a dog. I can see every step she takes through the finish. The customer service people are stooges, trained to just say "read the warranty." Since I live in the northeast, and actually make food, drink, take showers, have dinner parties, it is impossible to think that no "moisture" will ever get on the floor.
YPSILANTI, MICHIGAN -- Bella Hardwood flooring. Here is my honest review. We installed the Bella Hardwood Matte Finish Brazilian Koa color. It is truly beautiful. But the finish on the flooring is really hard to see (as it is not the glossy) so we put a piece in our floor that had a manufacturing defect as it was not fully coated in the clear coat. Now since this has a 200-year transferable warranty we thought it would not be a big deal. Well it is. The standard response from Lumber Liquidators (which I believe is the same as Bella Hardwood, as I e-mailed Bella, but received a response from Lumber Liquidators), was "take a sample to a local paint store to get it matched and apply".
Is it wrong that I do not want to pay more for this floor and that I do not want to take to our paint store to get it matched? I think so. I complained a bit and filed a claim, where we had to submit all kinds of pictures and proof. They came back saying the same thing. I am frustrated with them as all I wanted was a little bottle of the stuff they put on to coat the one piece that was a manufacturing defect and so it would match the rest of the floor. Since I am frustrated, I am writing this so other consumers do not have this same problem.